Building & Renovation Kitchen & Bath

Linear Drain Installation For Your Shower

Linear shower drains are a popular choice for modern homes and can offer many benefits but proper installation is key. We asked the expert behind the QuARTz by ACO collection and they shared these important consideration for a successful linear drain installation.

linear drain installation

Photo Source: QuARTz by ACO

Use an Experienced Installer

A linear shower drain requires only one slope while a traditional center point drain requires all 4 sides to slope towards the center. You are able to use large format tiles and have only linear cuts in the tiles. For this reason, a linear drain installation is considered to be easier but it is important to use an installer who has experience installing linear drains. They will have the experience to ensure a proper install so that you do not run into issues down the line.

Plan Ahead

When choosing a Linear drain it is important to plan in advance.  Decide on whether you would like a curbless shower or not. Making the right steps ahead of time will ensure an easy and proper install. Communication with your installer about the membrane being used, measuring the shower from the finished walls, even choosing your grate designs are all important to do prior to buying the drain.

Placement for Curbless Showers

If you are planning a curbless shower, it is important to place the drain either along the opening to the shower or the wall directly across from the opening. Placing the linear drain installation perpendicular to the opening will result in a slop that creates a lip and becomes a tripping hazard. Linear drains can be placed in the center of the shower, as seen in the bathroom below by Tego Bathroom Solutions, as long as they are parallel to the opening of the shower.

linear drain installation

How long should a linear shower drain be?

QuARTz linear shower drains come in a variety of standard sizes ranging from 27.55″ to 55.12″. After measuring your shower and taking into consideration the finished wall to wall length, choose the size that best suits your shower and location. If you choose to put the drain at the entrance we recommend the drain spans the entire length of the opening, It will prevent water getting around the drain and out into the bathroom. ACO also offers custom linear drain sizes upon request. 

Plan for Flow Rates

You will want to ensure the drain can handle the water volume of your planned shower installation. A luxury shower with multiple heads will require a much higher flow rate then a a single low-flow showerhead installation.

Choose Tile Prior to Laying the Floor Bed

One of the benefits of a linear drain is that it can be installed flush with the floor for a curbless finish. It important to select the tile you will be installing around the drain before you lay the floor so that the floor can be laid accordingly, ensuring that when the tile is installed, it sits completely level to the drain without any lip.

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Your questions answered…

Are linear shower drains better?

From an aesthetic perspective, linear drain look better in a walk-in shower. They come in a variety of lengths and provide a wider space for water to drain from your shower floor making it a great fit for a spa shower with multiple spouts that gives out more water. Linear drains can also be placed in many different areas of the shower as opposed to traditional point drains that are placed in the center of the shower. Overall, they are worth the extra expense.

How much does a linear drain cost?

The cost of a linear drain depends on the brand and type chosen. Costs of the linear drain itself can vary between 150-300. One thing to keep in mind is that the labor cost will be higher with a linear drain than a traditional point drain so it is important to budget more for your tile installer and plumber.

Why use a linear drain?

A traditional shower installation will require a barrier that you will need to step over when walking into your shower. Linear shower drains eliminate the need for the barrier making for a seamless tile look. Overall they look better and function better.

How do you keep a linear drain clean?

Be sure to clean your linear drain on a regular basis to avoid problems. You can quickly and easily clean it in the following manner. Remove the linear drain cover and wipe it with a non-abrasive material to make sure you don’t scratch your metal finish. Remove any hair, scum or soap build up and set it aside to dry. Next, scrub and clean the drain itself with a cleaning brush. Once complete, place the linear drain cover back onto the drain.

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